Website for the 2020 Linux Audio Conference held in Bordeaux, France
25-27 Nov 2020 Talence (France)
Stuck
Brandon Hale  1@  
1 : Composer and Performer

From the official program notes of Stuck:

Stuck is a tribute to tracker music and the Terminator franchise. The piece involves taking musical snippets and 'sticking' them, spatialized throughout the venue. With the power of arm movements, these musical snippets, played directly from tracker into a custom made pd patch using the magic of Jackd and Jacktrip, are swished around the room. Many instruments heard are from Terminator tracker modules borrowed from The Mod Archive, reused to compose the musical snippets heard throughout, paying homage to choice mod artists, recapturing a certain magic from 1990s to early 2000s pc-era modules, and paying tribute to a franchise made possible by James Cameron.

Although this concept may sound esoteric, I really wanted to explore moving my tracker music, which is traditionally stereo fixed media, around a massive multichannel speaker system by using simple arm movements and a controller. This is done with a Nintendo Wiimote and Nunchuck, with the Wiimote being concealed under my sleeve. The piece's performance is about spectacle, as the audience should not know that there is much of a controller used at all. The DAW, and tracker, Renoise is controlled through the Wiimote and Nunchuck, allowing me to speed up, glitch, and continue the piece in real-time. As this piece is inspired by the Terminator franchise, I used samples and tracker instruments from Terminator tracker modules on the Modarchive to build a portion of the sound of Stuck, paying homage to tracker artists and their work, while simultaneously creating a Terminator-like sound.

The piece is performed entirely on my primary laptop running Arch Linux with the music being composed in Renoise and spatialized with pd-l2ork. Although I can use Jacktrip to route digital audio channels out to a computer to a speaker system, having access to the speakers with a soundcard is more ideal. The spatialization of the piece is handled using my own custom pd-l2ork code to take tracks from the piece and spin them around the room using my arm. I can select the tracks, record a certain spatial motion for the track, and then allow the track's recorded motions to repeat until I give another motion recording to it later, allowing myself to spatially mix the piece in real-time in front of the audience.

Overall, Stuck is a study on how to take stereo fixed media and turn it into an exciting live-spatialized performance piece, using some of my favorite pop culture references and (mostly) livre software.



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